BPI Foundation has named the ten awardees of the BPI Sinag Accelerate 2017. They will receive business incubation training and up to P500,000 in seed-funding grants. They are (in alphabetical order):
1. Accents and Petals Crafts and Accessories, a novelty shop selling flowers made from recycled wood and paper
2. Alternative Indigenous Development Foundation, Inc. which develops, manufactures, and installs technologies such as ram pumps for drinking and irrigation water, for the poor in the uplands
3. Association of Differently-Abled Persons in Iloilo Multi-Purpose Cooperative, a furniture making business giving jobs to persons with disabilities
4. Buhatan River Eco-Adventure Service Cooperative (BRESC), an eco-tourism service in Sorsogon promoting the attractions of the Buhatan River
5. Coffee For Peace, a coffee supplier of world class Arabica and Robusta beans working to promote peace in Mindanao
6. CustomMade Crafts Center, Inc. a weaving novelty shop offering assorted items designed with Hinabol fabric
7. Happy Helpers (Masasayang Nanay Home Services Corporation) a professional home cleaning service that employs and empowers mothers from poor communities
8. Lamlifew Village Museum and School of Living Tradition, a living museum which showcases the cultural practices of Blaan tribe in the Sarangani Province
9. Mori Creations, a designer of innovative fashion accessories collaborates with mothers from poor communities in Apolonio Samson, Quezon City
10. Zarraga Integrated Diversified Organic Farmers Association (ZIDOFA), a community of farmers revolutionizing rice growth with rich organic fertilizer
These were selected from the 20 finalists who had pitched their business plans to a panel of judges that included Ramon Noel Altamirano (Vice President/Division Head for Retail Loans, Marketing, and Systems, BPI), Carlo Calimon (Director, StartUp Village), Dr. Eduardo Morato, Jr. (President, Bayan Academy For Social Entrepreneurship and Human Resources, Inc.), Sheila Ramos (angel investor supporting budding enterprises), and Priya Thachadi (Co-Founder and CEO, Villgro Philippines).
They also underwent in-depth business bootcamps run by BPI Foundation and partner organization Bayan Academy.
BPI Foundation believes supporting social enterprises is the most effective strategy to promote inclusive growth in the country.
“Social entrepreneurs have such an innate desire to not only advocate for social change, but also create a new social equilibrium,” said Maricris San Diego, BPI Foundation executive director. “Social entrepreneurs aim to permanently and systematically transform an unfair societal condition. They act directly - creating a product, service or a new way of doing things that drives the transformation of the status quo. We, at BPI Foundation, want to harness this innate desire and work with them to be the force of change in the world, to ensure that no one gets left behind.”
DTI Regional Operations Group Undersecretary Zenaida Maglaya graced the awarding ceremony to deliver the keynote message on the significance of social enterprises in the country and the efforts of government to assist the sector.
The program also featured a panel discussion with the theme of “Helping Social Enterprises Scale and Innovate Impactfully” to further appreciate the value of social entrepreneurship. Thought leaders such as digital expert and program judge Carlo Calimon, sustainable fashion designer of Green Leaf Bags Zarah Juan, marketing director of artisanal accessories shop Touch of Craft, Inc. Julie Carceller, and co-founder of Human Nature social enterprise Anna Meloto-Wilk shared their thoughts on the challenges faced by social enterprises.
BPI Sinag Accelerate is one of the two pillar categories of BPI Sinag Business Challenge which aims to help social entrepreneurs scale up their businesses and magnify their impact to the community.
To fully support and thank the social enterprises for joining the annual business challenge, BPI Foundation will also organize BPI Sinag ng Pasko bazaar on December 13, 11:00AM at Palm Drive Activity Center, Glorietta 2, Makati City. The event primarily aims to give the participants better exposure and provide better access for consumers to the 100% Pinoy made products.